Free standing mast: update

Making progress. The mast head is together:

Mast head complete

The topmast / main tube joint is also complete with the taper sleeve epoxied in place.

I’ve started work on reinforcing the partners. Current plan is to use the existing tabernacle – partly because the boat will then look stock. I ground the gelcoat off the top of the tabernacle and added extra glass flanges where I needed them:

Gelcoat ground off
Adding new flanges

I made up a rough ‘mold’ using scap wood and plastic sheet. Worked ok – it is the sort of thing you get better at the more you do it, so I’d do things slightly differently next time. However the result is fine.

Results of adding flanges

You can see coremat in the GRP – this is a fast and fairly light way to add thickness & thus add stiffness to a layup.

Next step is to sort out the foot of the tabernacle and add a turning block to bring the sail control lines (halyard etc) back to the helm position. You can see from the photo above that the existing tabernacle consists of a GRP U section with lots of filler embedding some thin ply. I’m not sure what the ply is doing but it needs better protection. The foot of the tabernacle needs beefing up as the screw holes are somewhat broken.

I’ve started on the turning block:

Bits of the turning block

I was going to use commercial cheek blocks but these take up a lot of space. Deck organisers are very expensive, so to minimise space and cost I bought some Holt-Allen sheaves on ebay and I’ll fit these into aluminium strip with brass axles. Means I can get all the lines into a much smaller space, and it will fit much more neatly onto the existing tabernacle.

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